Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-04-01
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"Theater is so gay!"

About Face Theatre has used this expression in the past as a badge of pride rather than a homophobic putdown. And the expression is also very true, since the theater community has historically been accepting of LGTB creative types.

But when it comes to compiling a list of Chicago-area LGBT shows for the fall season, where do you begin or end? Do you only include shows with LGBT characters like in Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi? Or does the list extend to works by queer authors or theater artists that might not feature any overt LGBT characters, like in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth? And what about shows that aren't specifically queer, but have big gay followings like the musical Dreamgirls?

Taking these questions into account, here's a rundown of shows by category that hopefully should interest ardent theatergoers who are also on the lookout for material with LGBT ties.

World and local premieres

Kinky Boots, Bank of America Theatre, Oct. 2-Nov. 4. Perhaps the highest-profile show of the fall season is this pre-Broadway world premiere featuring an original score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper and a book by award-winning out performer/playwright Harvey Fierstein. Kinky Boots is based on the British film of the same name that follows a struggling shoe manufacturer who takes the advice of a drag queen to start producing plus-size fetish footwear as a way to save the business from going under. 800-775-2000 or

CLEAR: A New Musical Experience, About Face Theatre at Millennium Park Pritzker Pavilion, Oct. 11-13. This concert musical featuring a score by Paul Oakley Stovall, with additional music by Stew (Passing Strange), jumps about the globe to find out that change is inevitable and can be revolutionary. 773-784-8565, ext. 11, or

At the Flash, Pride Films and Plays at Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theater, Nov. 16-Dec. 16. This comic drama by Sean Chandler and David Leeper condenses LGBT history through the stories of five characters: a closeted man in the 1960s, a Black drag queen in the 1970s, a club kid in the 1980s, a lesbian activist in the 1990s and an entrepreneur in the 2000s.

2012 Gay Screenplay Weekend, Pride Films and Plays at Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theater, Oct. 19-21. Pride Films and Plays artistic director David Zak oversees this weekend of staged readings of new screenplays all with overtly LGBT characters and plot angles.


These shows have already played Chicago, but they're always new to somebody in the audience.

Sweet Bird of Youth, Goodman Theatre, now to Oct. 25. Out director David Cromer's plans to direct this Tennessee Williams drama on Broadway fell through, but thanks to the Goodman Theatre he gets a chance to stage it now in Chicago. Academy Award-nominee Diane Lane (Unfaithful) and Finn Wittrock both star in this disturbing tale of a faded Hollywood starlet who has been dragged by a gigolo back to his dangerous Southern hometown. 312-443-3800 or

My First Time, Broken Nose Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center, now to Oct. 26. This hit off-Broadway show is back, detailing stories about people's first-time sexual experiences and also getting the audience into the action by incorporating a pre-show poll. 773-404-7336 or

Corpus Christi, Center on Halsted, Sept. 29-30. This special event, co-sponsored by Michael Leppen, features a performance by 108 Productions of the 1998 Terrence McNally play that retells the story of Jesus if he was living as a gay man in 1950s Texas. It's also paired with a film documentary called Corpus Christi-Playing With Redemption, which follows the theater troupe, McNally and audiences around the world by capturing voices of support and protest over "that gay Jesus play." Tickets are available for the play and film separately or together.

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Oak Park Festival Theatre at Madison Street Studio Theatre, Oct. 4-Nov. 11. Irish playwright Frank McGuiness explores how three men—an American, an Irishman and an Englishman—cope with being held hostage in this acclaimed play from the 1990s. 708-445-4440 or

Doubt, American Theater Company, Sept. 27-Nov. 4. John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama focuses on a stern Catholic school principal who takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the new and popular parish priest has been having improper contact with a male student. Doubt plays alongside John Peilmeier's drama Agnes of God under American Theater Company's billing of The Catholic Repertory. 773-409-4125 or

Hot 'n' Throbbing, Interrobang Theatre Project at Raven Theatre, Sept. 22-Oct. 21. Pulitzer Prize-winning lesbian playwright Paula Vogel gets a revival of her adults-only comic drama dealing with domestic abuse. The play follows a suburban mother who writes feminist erotica but is distracted by her nicotine cravings, her hormonal teenage children and the arrival of her estranged and abusive husband.

Avenue Q, NightBlue Performing Arts Company at Stage 773, now to Oct. 14. The Tony Award-winning 2003 Broadway musical that lovingly spoofs Sesame Street returns in a locally produced production. So meet the people and puppets (like Rod, the closeted gay Republican) on this special rundown New York street and don't be surprised if the catchy tunes make you want to sing along. 773-327-5252 or

Burn This, Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit, Oct. 18-Nov. 18. The death of a successful gay dancer throws the lives of two friends into disarray in this classic 1980s drama by the late gay playwright Lanford Wilson. 773-975-8150 or

Camp attractions

Sometimes you've got to be comically tragic for comic's sake. So catch these shows that parody pop culture with a decidedly queer eye.

Annee Pocalypse!, Hubris Productions at Mary's Attic, now to Nov. 10. What do you get when you blend a beloved Broadway musical with zombies in a post-apocalyptic world? Why, it's a revival of this genre-blending musical spoof that focuses on "Little Whorin' Annee" trying to survive in a frightening, non-politically correct world.

Xanadu, Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace, now to Oct. 28. Out playwright Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed, Lysistrata Jones) junked the weird screenplay from this critically drubbed 1980 film musical and turned it into a sparkly and lovingly spoofed Broadway success. So see what happens when an ancient Greek muse helps a hunky California guy realize his dream of building a roller disco. 630-530-0111 or

Scarrie the Musical, Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary's Attic, Sept. 28-Oct. 31. This musical spoof of the iconic 1970s Stephen King novel and movie Carrie gets another bloody revival. And this revengeful telekinetic teenager is specially timed to the month of Halloween celebrations. 800-838-3006 or

Sexy Baby, Hell in a Handbag Productions at Theater Wit, now through Oct. 27. This summer musical spoof of child beauty pageants featuring loads of drag queens has extended and moved to a new location. Also, don't miss the inclusion of Honey "Boo Boo" West to the cast. 773-975-8150 or

Steamwerkz the Musical, Annoyance Theater, now extended to Dec. 28. Who knew that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland could be the template for a musical about a notorious Chicago gay bathhouse? Obviously the cast and crew of this hit summer musical did, since practically all performances have been selling out. 773-561-4665 or

Diva society

Whether opera or Motown is your thing, be sure not to miss these shows featuring plenty of soulful divas scaling the vocal heights.

Dreamgirls, Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, now to Oct. 28. This hit 1981 musical about the backstage drama surrounding an African-American girl group in the 1960s and 1970s is back in a critically acclaimed production directed and choreographed by Marc Robin. If you only know the show from the 2006 movie, then you haven't really experienced Dreamgirls in its original form. 847-634-0200 or

One Name Only (Featuring the Music of Aretha, Gladys, Patti, Tina and Chaka), Black Ensemble Theater, Previews begin Sept. 28. The music celebrating one-name Ladies of Soul is given a reality TV show twist in Rueben Echoles' new show where the audience can vote for their favorites with five different outcomes. 773-769-4451 or

Homotown 3 Last Dance: A Tribute to Etta, Whitney and Donna, About Face Theatre at Sidetrack, 6 p.m. doors open, 7 p.m. show Sept. 24. This benefit to aid About Face Youth Theatre features performers paying homage to divas we've lost this year like Etta James, Whitney Houston and Donna Summer.

Simply Sensational 2 with Kim Kuzma and With A Twist, Michael A. Leppen and Pride Films and Plays at Stage 773, Oct. 9. Singer Kim Kuzma and the vocal trio With A Twist are joined by the ensembles of shows like Bailiwick Chicago's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Theo Ubique's Smokey Joe's Café and more for this special benefit.

Elektra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Oct. 6-30. American soprano Christine Goerke makes her Lyric debut in the title role of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal's towering interpretation of a Greek tragedy. This new production is helmed by gay Scottish director Sir David McVicar and also features lesbian mezzo-soprano Jill Grove in the role of Clytemnestra. 312-332-2244 ext. 5600 or

The Magic Flute, Chicago Opera Theater at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, now to Sept. 23. Most everyone knows the stratospheric arias of The Queen of the Night, but they probably haven't heard them sung in English as in Chicago Opera Theater's new production. There are only three more chances to catch this masterpiece by Mozart. 312-704-8414 or

A nod to LGBT allies

Some people have been adding an "A" to the end of the LGBT acronym so as not to exclude our straight allies. So don't discount these shows, which are about influential late writers who were strong supporters of the LGBT community.

A Class Act, Porchlight Music Theatre at Theater Wit, now to Oct. 7. The neurotic New York songwriter Edward Kleban may have been straight, but he collaborated on the influential Broadway smash hit A Chorus Line which significantly featured gay characters. Find out about the little-known songs of Kleban via this bio-musical co-created by Lonny Price and Linda Kline—or, better yet, attend the one-day-only cabaret called An Unordinary Sunday Sept. 23 featuring Price as the host and the music of Stephen Sondheim. 773-975-8150 or

The Lady With All the Answers, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble at College of DuPage's Building-K Theater, Glen Ellyn, now to Sept. 23. The late Ann Landers was an early supporter of gay people, and David Rambo's one-woman play about the influential syndicated newspaper advice columnist is a reminder of that fact. 630-942-4000 or

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

COVID-19 Broadway closed through June 7 2020-04-08 - Broadway will remain closed through June 7—an extension of the current coronavirus shutdown that would seem to retroactively end the 2019-20 season. "Our ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Masque of the Red Coronavirus 2020-04-06 - Playwright: Ed Rutherford At: Black Button Eyes Productions online at Tickets: Online donations accepted. Runs through: Open run* It was easy ...

Gay News

Virtual reading of Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons April 16 2020-04-03 - In honor of Terrence McNally, who recently passed away at age 81 of complications from COVID-19. Four actors, each participating from a remote ...

Gay News

Arts for Illinois launches with grants for artists, groups 2020-04-01 - Arts Alliance Illinois joined Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in launching Arts for Illinois—a collaboration between the State of ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Methtacular! 2020-04-01 - Playwright: Steven Strafford Via: 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. Tickets: 708-795-6704 or; . $12 per person/on your honor. Available through: ...

Gay News

Court Theatre reschedules The Gospel at Colonus to the 2020-2021 season 2020-03-31 - Chicago, IL - Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director, announces ...

Gay News

THEATER Mourning Terrence McNally 2020-03-30 - The prolific Emmy and Tony Award-winning writer Terrence McNally passed away at the age of 81 in Florida at a Sarasota hospital on ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Teenage Dick 2020-03-27 - Playwright: Mike Lew At: Theater Wit ( on line streaming only ) Tickets:; $28. Runs through: April 19 In a ...

Gay News

Raven Theatre postpones world premiere of Eden Prairie, 1971 due to COVID-19 2020-03-26 - CHICAGO ( March 25, 2020 ) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Raven Theatre today announced it will postpone its upcoming world ...

Gay News

Tony Awards to be postponed; no new date set 2020-03-25 - The 74th Annual Tony Awards—scheduled to air live on CBS on Sunday, June 7 from New York's Radio City Music Hall—has been postponed ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.